Birth injuries are instances of physical harm during childbirth directly caused by medical errors. There are many types of birth injuries, ranging from mild to severe. Birth injuries—especially brain injuries—may cause irreversible damage.
About Birth Injuries
What is a birth injury?
A birth injury is any form of harm to a baby before, during or immediately following childbirth. Common birth injuries include broken bones or bruising due to forceps. Severe birth injuries can affect your child’s central nervous system, brain, senses, limbs or nerves and lead to lifelong impairment.
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What causes birth injuries?
A number of factors may cause birth injuries, such as genetic issues or accidents. Doctors or hospital staff may rush a delivery or use improper medical procedures during a birth and put both the mother and newborn at risk. Severe conditions like Erb’s Palsy and cerebral palsy are caused by excessive pulling on the baby or restricting their oxygen during birth.
Learn about Causes of Cerebral Palsy
How can I help my child?
If you suspect that your child suffered a birth injury, consult with a doctor first. A doctor’s diagnosis will determine what injury, if any, your child has suffered. Treatments and physical therapies may greatly improve your child’s quality of life depending on their particular situation.
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What are my treatment options?
Many different treatment options exist to help children affected by birth injuries. Treatments vary for each condition. Children with severe birth injuries typically need physical therapy to manage their symptoms and equipment like wheelchairs to increase mobility. Milder birth injuries may improve with time and treatments.
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Understanding Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a serious physical condition that occurs when a baby’s oxygen supply is cut off during birth. This lack of oxygen can seriously affect the baby’s motor control, eating, speaking, vision and brain functions.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is caused by a lack of oxygen during birth, which can damage a baby's brain. Cerebral palsy is usually brought on by fetal distress during labor or delivery. If a doctor or nurse does not identify the distress in time, permanent damage may set in.
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Cerebral Palsy Symptoms
Though symptoms of cerebral palsy should not worsen over time, the condition is not curable. However, as the child grows, complications may cause muscular deterioration and other health issues. As long as a child with cerebral palsy receives the care and therapy they need, their life expectancy is no different than that of a person without it.
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Understanding Erb's Palsy
Erb’s Palsy is a condition that develops when a baby’s shoulder nerves are injured during birth. When a baby’s head is pulled away from the shoulder during birth, it can cause permanent damage to the connecting nerves. It leaves them with weakened control, no feeling or paralysis in their shoulder or arm.
What is Erb's Palsy?
Erb’s Palsy occurs by pulling on a baby’s shoulders or feet during a birth, or if their head and neck pull to the side while the shoulders move through the birth canal. These pulling motions can cause irreversible damage and are often preventable.
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Erb's Palsy Symptoms
While milder cases of Erb’s Palsy heal on their own, more serious conditions require months or even years of physical therapy to restore muscle movement. A doctor can give an accurate prognosis at the time of diagnosis.
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Erb's Palsy Therapies
Physical therapy to build up muscle strength can repair the damage done at birth. In some cases, surgery may be required to treat the complications of the condition. Depending on the circumstances, some people may never be able to use their affected arm despite treatments.
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Taking care of a child with a birth injury can be emotionally draining and very costly. Birth injuries can be caused by many factors. If your child’s injuries were due to negligent doctors or other medical professionals, you may be entitled to compensation. Knowing your options can help you plan a clear course of action.
If your child has been diagnosed with a birth injury that may have stemmed from negligence or improper medical care, give us a call. Our team is ready to take action and help your child.
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